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Reef Report for Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Coral to Spawn Soon

With coral spawning being the major event at the reef this month a number of dive operators are have arranged special nighttime trips out to the reef between the 22nd and 25th of November. Email DiveTheReef.com if you are interested in heading out.

If you can get the time to go for a night dive or simply enjoy a great evening out on the Great Barrier Reef then I highly recommend you take one of the scheduled trips. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises Unfortunately as a number of conditions need to be right for the coral to spawn there is no guarantee it will happen on the dates predicted, life sometimes has its own sense of timing..


The stronger South Easterlies ranging between 15-20 knots saw Reef Magic Cruises concentrated on Saxon Reef during the week. Visibility was between 10 -15 metres with divers reporting sightings of lionfish, schools of barracuda, reef sharks, cuttlefish and turtles.

The dive team on Big Cat diving off Green Island reef reported some interesting sightings. The dive sites visited were Kings Cross and the Three Sisters with visibility ranging between 5 to 10 metres. At Kings Cross they sighted large schools of blue and gold fusiliers, with more than 50 of these slim and deeply fork-tailed fish in each school. Schools of fusiliers are great for underwater photography as they can be easily spotted in mid-water where they spend a lot of time during the day feeding on plankton. The divers also spotted two camouflage groupers and a Yellowmask Angelfish.

Diving at Three Sisters was also exciting for the introductory divers this week. They were introduced to a variety of corals found in the shallower waters. Mushroom corals, blue-tipped staghorn corals, and honeycomb corals are some of the many coral species found when diving in the coral gardens of Green Island Reef. Lagoon rays, goatfish, sweetlips and gobies were also shown to the divers as part of their first scuba diving experience.

Last Sunday the local dive club went out for a day of diving on TUSA Dive. A total of 17 members took part in the club’s monthly dive trip. Milln Reef was the destination for the day and did not disappoint. Club members spotted too many fish to name here along with some special surprises. The group enjoyed the company of a very large turtle hanging around for quite a while along with 2 barramundi cod lurking under a ledge.

Port Douglas:

So what was the diving like during the week? Despite the windy conditions passengers on board Poseidon still received some great diving up on the Agincourt Reefs, with over 20 metres visibility and lots of fish spawning activity, schools of striped sweetlip, red bass, chromis and black parrots swarming about, plus the occasional coral trout and several sling jaw wrasse. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises Divers have also seen 3 different octopi, up to 9 cuttlefish in one day, lots of bumpheaded parrots, hawksbill and green turtles, plenty of pelagic on the wall dives, along with the reef’s friendly resident Estuary Cod, Daisy.

The highlight of their week was a sighting of an amazing Frogfish. The Frogfish is a member of the Anglerfish family [Antenniidae], so named for a fleshy blob on the end of a long whip on the forehead, which attracts small fish into range of its huge mouth. Over a foot long and bright yellow in natural light at 12m, this fish looks exactly like a sponge, growing on the coral right down to the texture of its skin and false strands of algae growing on darker stripes, its fins and tail curled to look like stalks attached to the reef.

Northern Reefs/Coral Sea:

Divers on TAKA II reported fine and sunny conditions with visibility at the Cod Hole 15-25 metres and 35 plus metres at Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea. At “Challenger Bay” which is located south of the Cod Hole Unicorn fish, Feather Stars and Manta Rays were on show while at the Cod Hole divers spotted a variety of Butterfly fish, such as Pyramid Butterfly fish, Reticulated Butterfly fish, Double Saddle Butterfly fish, Teardrop Butterfly fish and an Ornate Butterfly fish. .

At the Clam Gardens moon wrasse, a school of cuttlefish, bump-headed parrotfish and an Octopus were spotted. Steve’s Bommie had Christmas tree worms, A Flame File Shell, long nose butterfly fish, black lionfish, cuttlefish, Turtles and a Porcelain Crab.

The stronger winds are predicted to hang around for a bit longer so if you don’t mind a bit of a bumpy ride there is certainly still plenty to see and enjoy out at the reef. Have a weekend and safe diving, Steve Brady.

(C) Pro Dive Cairns This weekly reef report was written by Steve Brady of Pro Dive Cairns, who compiles them from the dive trips he takes, as well as the many conversations he has with divers, dive instructors, captains, and others in the Cairns dive community. The report is published weekly in the Cairn Post, the local daily paper and appears here thanks to the courtesy of Pro Dive Cairns.

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